Otakon 2012
Viz Media Panel

by Justin Sevakis,

Marketing Manager for Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Eric Eberhardt and a wackily-dressed Urian Brown, writer for ShonenJump.com -- self-described as "two of the least important people at Viz" -- began the panel with a few trivia give-aways.

Neon Alley, the new linear streaming anime TV channel launching on major video game consoles, was introduced -- all dubbed and uncut -- was discussed. Some non-anime programming was also discussed, including kung-fu movies. Series on the channel were revealed in a promotional clip, including Viz properties Zetman, Tiger & Bunny, Lagrange, Blue Exorcist, Vampire Knight, Naruto Shippuden, InuYasha: The Final Act, Death Note, Kekkaishi, Berserk movie 1, Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black, Buso Renkin, and selected content from live action distributor Tai Seng. The channel has not yet announced a launch date.

New DVDs of Naruto Shippuden (July 2012), Pokémon Diamond & Pearl (August 2012), InuYasha: The Final Act (November 2012) were briefly mentioned. Moving onto books, Viz introduced two Mameshiba books, How to Be The Best Friend Ever and We Could Be Heroes. A short promo video for Mameshiba was shown.

A newly printed boxed set of the Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind was announced for a November 6th release, promising the original brown ink color, a bigger size, and two volumes with color pages.

The new Shojo Beat title Jiu Jiu, which was released earlier in July, was mentioned, along with its currently-running Pets-in-Cosplay contest. The Shojo Beat brand also recently launched a Facebook page.

Loveless, formerly a Tokyopop title, is getting resumed and reprinted by Viz, picking up where the former run left off at volume 9. A new volume of the long-delayed Neon Genesis Evangelion manga was also shown, as was a book and a sticker book mashing up Street Fighter and Sanrio characters.

In digital publishing, a few of the continuing series were shown, including Blue Exorcist volume 8, which is being released on July 30, 3 months before the print version. Many new series that are being released digitally day-and-date with the print editions were also shown. During the month of August, the company will be offering up to 20% off of purchases via its app, which is freshly available on Android as well as iOS.

Shonen Jump Alpha was discussed, which boasts being only two weeks behind Japanese publication. Its newest series, Takamagahara, was discussed, as well as Blue Exorcist, which is being added on a monthly basis. "We hope to get even closer to Japanese publication date at some point," Eberhardt noted.

With that, the floor was opened up for questions.

This report was verified by its panelists.

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